Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Action plans to support the transition from secondary school

The Finnish Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability (KVPS) has developed On the Verge of Adulthood – a programme designed to assist people with disabilities to transition from secondary education to the next phase of their life. KVPS works with schools, municipalities and NGOs to support people aged 13–25 and their families. In a first step, a personal action plan is created on key areas like work and housing; and in a second step, the necessary support is provided to carry out the transition. Since 2013, 434 young people have been supported.

“On the Verge of Adulthood has brought all of us in this municipality together to focus on our children’s future. Now we feel that we as a family are not alone.”

Anneli Palonenmother of Otto
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:On the Verge of Adulthood
Organisation: KVPS
Country
of Implementation
Finnland
Start Year2013

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Between 2013 and 2019, KVPS has supported 757 family members.
  • In 2019, KVPS has worked with 505 professionals across 35 municipalities.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Young people with disabilities and their families do not have adequate access to information and support to plan their future once the young person leaves school.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

In each municipality, KVPS convenes a steering group of the local municipality, schools, NGOs, and families, which then develops a local action plan and agrees how to work together on key transition areas, such as education, employment, and housing.

Once the local action plan is agreed upon, the focus moves to individual and family goals. Young people and their families get workbooks and other person-centred planning tools to help them determine their wishes and goals. At the meetings, families receive peer support, input from KVPS, and information about access to local support from schools, local authority representatives, and other services. At the end of the process, there is a meeting to finalise the individual goals of young people and their families and to decide how local stakeholders will take this forward.

By the end of 2019, KVPS has supported 434 young people, and feedback shows that participants find the process meaningful and that afterwards they are more certain on what they want in the future. In addition, local support services learn new tools to work with families on future planning.

A family sits in a circle at the local On the Verge of Adulthood workshop, smiling and watching each other.

A family in a local On the Verge of Adulthood Workshop.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

The project is funded by the Finnish Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organizations, and in-kind support comes from the municipalities that offer venues to support the project. There is no fee for young people and their families.

The practice has been scaled in 35 municipalities, and the core model and activities are scalable and can be adjusted to meet local and individual needs. To support further replication, KVPS wants to train other professionals on the model and further formalise their processes.

 

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING